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Posted November 17th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Making regular international payments – who offers the best deal?

(Read an article written by ‘The Overseas Guides Company’ that demonstrates which currency company truly offers the best deal on international payments)

Having read an interesting article in the “A Place in the Sun” magazine dated October 1st 2010 it left me with a question about currency company charges. The article laid out exactly how currency specialists can be of assistance when transferring money abroad – and, let’s face it, there are many ways that they can help to save sometimes quite vast sums of money.

The article spelled out the solutions that currency companies generally offer and also interestingly asked five different currency traders to elaborate on their services. The author of the article asked the currency companies to give an idea of both charges on currency transfers and the exchange rate they would have charged on a pre-determined amount at a certain given time. Their replies made very interesting reading.

Currency companies are now regulated by the FSA and it is generally acknowledged that you will get a far better deal from them as opposed to your high street bank. As they focus only on this aspect of currency, they are able to offer a far more specific and extensive array of options. The main services they offer include: 
         Buy currency today (called a Spot contract), which will allow you to agree an exchange rate with your trader at the time you decide to transfer money. The rates offered are much better than those quoted by the banks 
         Reserve currency today for a purchase later (called a Forward contract), which will allow you to fix an exchange rate for up to two years in advance. This effectively means that you will not be caught out by fluctuating exchange rates

         Set up a system to make regular currency transfers such as pension, mortgage, salary transfers etc that you need to make on a regular basis. This will allow you to get the best exchange rate on the day or reserve a rate today for transfers in the future
While reading the article, it occurred to me that the charges made for currency transfers could potentially cost quite a bit, especially if you are making regular monthly currency transfers, which many people owning property, living or travelling abroad do. So I wanted to know which currency company charged the least amount. Here’s what I did: I drew up a table of comparative costs given by the currency companies that “A Place in the Sun” had quoted. I also added what banks charge. Here’s what I discovered: 
Fees Charged
Smart Currency Exchange
£5 for transactions less than £3,000 and free for above this.
Halo Financial
£15 for transfers below £5,000 and free for above this.
The Foremost Currency Group
£10 for transfers under £50,000 and free for above this.
£15 transfer fee for clients using telephone service and £10 for online payments made via GPS.
Currency Solutions
£10 transfer fee for transfers under £10,000 and free for above this
£15 to £35 per transfer

When considering transferring large lump sums and then regular payments over a number of currency transfers, those charges could make quite a difference. And taken over several years, they could really add up.
For example, if you have your pension amount exchanged and transferred abroad on a monthly basis, you will save £120/year by using Smart Currency Exchange rather than currency companies charging £15 per transfer. And the savings on fees over using a bank could be up to £360/year. 
And think about the life-time savings. Imagine purchasing a property overseas at the age of 55 and then having your pension payment transferred each month. On average, currency exchange companies save their clients £4,000 for every £100,000 spent over using a bank.  
So – let’s imagine that you purchase a property worth £200,000. That means that you’ll initially save around £8,000 on the large lump sum transfer. As for your regular payments, you’ll save on the exchange rates (and fees) on the transfers. When using a company like Smart Currency Exchange, the savings on fees charged over a bank are £360/year and will equate to £10,800 over thirty years. Already, we’re well over a saving of £18,000 over the course of a lifetime. 
Remember, there is very little doubt that using a currency company is a far more cost effective option than your bank. You will save money by getting better than bank exchange rates and if you’re ‘Smart’ you’ll save money by choosing a provider that charges the least amount on small payments. 
Visit the Smart Currency Exchange website at:

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Posted July 28th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Free lunches…!

The old adage states that ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch.’ But is this always true? I think not – and I’ll tell you why. Because of the Internet and changing marketing practices today, there is a virtual treasure trove of valuable information available – and most of it is free! Now, I  Continue Reading…

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